When it comes to AR, Snap’s Evan Spiegel truly is playing the long game.
That is particularly evident in a partnership announced today between Snap and the messaging app Rakuten Viber, in which Viber will incorporate Snap’s AR technology into its app. We don’t know whether Snap makes much money from this, as terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. What is clear is that the deal will help Snap spread the usage of its AR Lenses, including in regions of the world where Snapchat isn’t as popular.
That helps build a licensing business for Snap and could prepare the way for Snap’s future consumer AR glasses. It may also drive more demand for Snapchat itself. Whatever the precise business model, Snap is working to seed demand for more AR into the future.